Automotive

CAA vs Dealer Roadside Assistance

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  • Feb 21st, 2018 8:35 am
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CAA vs Dealer Roadside Assistance

Have had CAA membership for 15 years. Now planning to buy new car which comes with roadside assistance for 3 years. Would you say that the service covered by the car warranty for 3 years is equivalent to CAA service in terms of coverage (service type and geographic areas) and speed to respond, especially in the winter? Warranty manual is vague. Thinking of suspending CAA for the 3 years, but it's like Linus' security blanket!
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Jul 12, 2003
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I believe the roadside assistance from manufacture is that they will tow your car to the nearest dealership, but not your preferred garage. With CAA, you can tell the driver to tow the car you want within the kilometers range of your membership.
Other than that, I'can't think of any other differences. CAA cost you the membership fee of course. lol

I used to with CAA for many years and now the car is brand new, I opted out CAA but my credit card also has DAA roadside assistance coverage.
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Manufacturers' RA is usually same length as bumper to bumper warranty anyway, so you would want to be towed to the dealer.

But it's contracted out to others depends on manufacturer/area so it would be pretty impossible to tell.
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Catnippy wrote: Have had CAA membership for 15 years. Now planning to buy new car which comes with roadside assistance for 3 years. Would you say that the service covered by the car warranty for 3 years is equivalent to CAA service in terms of coverage (service type and geographic areas) and speed to respond, especially in the winter? Warranty manual is vague. Thinking of suspending CAA for the 3 years, but it's like Linus' security blanket!
roadside assistance from manufacturer will only tow you to dealer..and limited to nearest/local...the odd exception for a non local dealer...service time is usually a bit longer too as there are several "layers" before a call actually gets dispatched to a truck. On a high priority day..it will generally be the last in line for service too. ..I would keep both as sometimes the car companys find a way to get out of warranty service and roadside service..CAA won't do that to you.
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cardguy wrote: roadside assistance from manufacturer will only tow you to dealer..and limited to nearest/local...the odd exception for a non local dealer...service time is usually a bit longer too as there are several "layers" before a call actually gets dispatched to a truck. On a high priority day..it will generally be the last in line for service too. ..I would keep both as sometimes the car companys find a way to get out of warranty service and roadside service..CAA won't do that to you.
I used Honda Roadside Assistance twice last year and I never encountered what you described.

Not sure what you mean by "layers" but you do have to tell them what happened and where you are, no different than any other roadside service.
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Jan 12, 2014
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your car insurance might also offer Roadside Assistance in there coverage
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sandav wrote: I used Honda Roadside Assistance twice last year and I never encountered what you described.

Not sure what you mean by "layers" but you do have to tell them what happened and where you are, no different than any other roadside service.
layers=...you call 1800 (honda) they take your info..now they dispatch to a service provider ( CAA sikes or any other depending on who does their service)...as non of this is localized..it comes from a central NA center..there is another "layer " it must go through..after that it get to the local level or provider...be it a normal day..this process itself takes about 15 minutes on average..then it gets dispatched...on a snow storm...this process could take up to an hour just to reach the dispatch level....also depends where and when you need service.
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cardguy wrote: layers=...you call 1800 (honda) they take your info..now they dispatch to a service provider ( CAA sikes or any other depending on who does their service)...as non of this is localized..it comes from a central NA center..there is another "layer " it must go through..after that it get to the local level or provider...be it a normal day..this process itself takes about 15 minutes on average..then it gets dispatched...on a snow storm...this process could take up to an hour just to reach the dispatch level....also depends where and when you need service.
Whatever layers you're describing is transparent to me as I called the 1800 number, spoke to a person and the tow truck was dispatched. Didn't go through any "extra" step or see any difference in service level as I've had CAA in the past.
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Aug 22, 2011
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My only gripe about factory RA, is your vehicle can only be towed to the nearest dealership.
There are a few dealerships that are worst than CT in my region and I don't want any type of service there.
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sandav wrote: Whatever layers you're describing is transparent to me as I called the 1800 number, spoke to a person and the tow truck was dispatched. Didn't go through any "extra" step or see any difference in service level as I've had CAA in the past.
Likewise

i called Subaru roadside and within 10 seconds of my call I had a text telling me how long the CAA driver would be.

no difference from CAA.
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Jul 30, 2015
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sandav wrote: Whatever layers you're describing is transparent to me as I called the 1800 number, spoke to a person and the tow truck was dispatched. Didn't go through any "extra" step or see any difference in service level as I've had CAA in the past.
Not really a biggie, but when I called Mazda Roadside Assistance, they'd put me on hold to talk to the company (whose name they also gave me). I called back to say they haven't arrived, and they again put me on hold to gind what's going on. So there's a layer, yes. But that's really not different from CAA calling their people on the ground.
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Feb 13, 2017
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I don't think you can call the manufacturer's roadside assistance in case of an accident. Atleast it doesn't say "Accidents" in my brochure. It includes flat tire, low battery, out of fuel and breakdown e.t.c
CAA includes that
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sandav wrote: Whatever layers you're describing is transparent to me as I called the 1800 number, spoke to a person and the tow truck was dispatched. Didn't go through any "extra" step or see any difference in service level as I've had CAA in the past.
in the case of Honda (or Subaru for that matter..) You call 1 800 number...they contact Club Auto ( a division of CAA) with your info..they (Club Auto) then contact CAA dispatch and you go into the system..if any info is missing to satisfy a dispatch call... (info that the 1 800 number forgot or screwed up) it gets put in limbo..3 layers to your honda or subaru call before its dispatched.

You call CAA as a member...before you hang up, its in dispatch system.

try asking RA to tow you home or your own garage (especially when no warranty left)...not gonna happen
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Feb 24, 2007
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Well. You don't use the RA everyday especially for a new car. Why would you want to pay over $100 for a service you already provided? I don't see the problem towing a new car to the dealer. When the road condition is bad outside, member or not you still have to wait for a long time. During the time I was with them they increased the membership price twice.
I stopped my CAA when I got my new car. CAA kept sending me letter to join them. Even threw in a discount, a trunk organizer and a free spouse membership for a year. Finally join again five years later.
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Triaging is common regardless of the provider. One benefit of CAA is their mobile app. I have used this service a couple of times and love the fact that you can book everything on the app. They provide real-time updates and a map showing you where you are vs the dispatch vehicle. This is very helpful if you are in an area you are not familiar with and need to try to find how far you are from a major intersection.

That being said, I would just take the free dealer roadside and am perfectly fine taking the car to the dealership. If there is a problem, chances are it is covered under warranty so no worries.
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Biggest difference between both is that CAA covers the subsrciber who's nanm is on the card, manufacturer roadside assistance covers the car that means if you own more than a car, or are passenger in another car CAA covers you, not the manufacturer roadside assistance. And, as Said, CAA tows you weherever you ask them to, other assistance tows you to the nearest dealership wich is not bad as the car is under warranty.

Don't forget that CAA offres Household service as well like locksmith or can answer questions regarding renos
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cutepoison wrote: I don't think you can call the manufacturer's roadside assistance in case of an accident. Atleast it doesn't say "Accidents" in my brochure. It includes flat tire, low battery, out of fuel and breakdown e.t.c
CAA includes that
I was in an at fault accident and was able to get my car towed to the collision reporting centre using VW roadside assistance.
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My Mazda had roadside assistance. I called it one time and a CAA truck showed up.
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pilmania wrote: I was in an at fault accident and was able to get my car towed to the collision reporting centre using VW roadside assistance.
Good to know. In that case I don't see a point in getting CAA. Triage could cause some delay but the wait times on CAA are also 4-5hrs during peak times.
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cutepoison wrote: Good to know. In that case I don't see a point in getting CAA. Triage could cause some delay but the wait times on CAA are also 4-5hrs during peak times.
I once waited 12 hours for a flatbed to come when there is a rainstorm.
Another time, I waited more than a day for a extreme cold day (-35c) for CAA to come do a battery boost. At the end, my father in law used his TD Gold to call a roadside assistance for me and the guy came within an hour.

The wait time for CAA is horrible if there is a storm or something. During regular circumstance, they are OK.
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